Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence



  We recognise the need for an active business response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Business participation in meeting the challenges of the epidemic will benefit employees, consumers, business partners and local communities and contribute to global social and economic development. We support the Global Business Council on HIV & AIDS and its efforts to encourage an effective business response to the epidemic through a range of activities including:

1.  HIV/AIDS—Employees

  Employers can provide leadership to all employees by:

    —  clearly stating that HIV cannot be passed on by any work-based activity where normal health and safety procedures are followed while providing accurate information on how the virus is transmitted;

    —  affirming that it is unacceptable to test for HIV status as a pre-requisite for employment or continuing employment;

    —  maintain confidentiality in relation to affected individuals;

    —  treating discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS as a disciplinary matter.

2.  HIV/AIDS—Business Partners and Customers

  Companies can:

    —  take the initiative to draw attention to the spread of HIV/AIDS;

    —  use their own systems of communication to speak directly to customers about HIV/AIDS eg through:

      (i)  articles in company publications;

      (ii)  mass media and advertising campaigns;

      (iii)  developing health education programmes and materials.

3.  HIV/AIDS—Local Communities and Employees' Families

  Companies can:

    —  make their facilities available for community education and outreach;

    —  provide support for local community-based HIV/AIDS initiatives in partnership with public and non-profit sector organisations;

    —  encourage employees and their families to be actively involved in community-based programmes.

4.  HIV/AIDS—Wider Society

  The business community can help reduce the effects of HIV on the wider society that supports and sustains business through:

    —  adding its voice to the need for sustained HIV/AIDS prevention, care and research programmes;

    —  actively encouraging a wider range of business, large and small, to play a role in combating the epidemic;

    —  contributing to national and international public policy debates on HIV/AIDS including its social and economic consequences;

    —  philanthropic support to groups engaged in HIV/AIDS prevention and care.


  Council Chair: MTV Networks International—Bristol Myers Squibb—Casa Decor—Edelman Public Relations Worldwide—Glaxo Wellcome—Godrej & Boyce—Industries Villares SA—Levi Strauss—Merck—Polaroid—SSL International—Standard Chartered Bank—Tata Iron & Steel—Telepar—The Body Shop International.

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